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Hum Mol Genet. 2011 Oct 1;20(19):3779-86. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddr294. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

High prevalence of laminopathies among patients with metabolic syndrome.

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  • 1INSERM UMR_S626, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France.


Constitutional laminopathies, such as the Dunnigan familial partial lipodystrophy, are severe diseases caused by mutations in A-type lamins and share several features with metabolic syndrome (MS). In this study, we hypothesized that MS may be, in some cases, a mild form of laminopathies and use the abnormal cell nucleus phenotype observed in these diseases as a primary screening test in patients suffering from common MS. Nuclear shape and lamin A nucleoplasmic distribution abnormalities were systematically searched in lymphoblastoid cells of 87 consecutive patients with MS. In parallel, five genes encoding either the A-type lamins or the enzymes of the lamin A maturation pathway were systematically sequenced (LMNA, ZMPSTE24, ICMT, FNTA and FNTB). We identified 10 MS patients presenting abnormal nuclear shape and disturbed lamin A/C nuclear distribution. These patients were not clinically different from those without nuclear abnormalities except that they were younger, and had higher triglyceridemia and SGPT levels. Three of them carry a heterozygous mutation in LMNA or in ZMPSTE24, a gene encoding one of the lamin A processing enzymes. All three mutations are novel missense mutations predicted to be damaging. Both lymphoblastoid cells and skin fibroblasts from the patient carrying the mutation in ZMPSTE24, showed accumulation of lamin A precursor, indicating an alteration of the lamin A processing, confirmed by functional study. Together, these results show for the first time, that a significant proportion of MS patients exhibits laminopathies and suggest that systematic investigation of lamin A and its partners should be performed at the diagnosis of this syndrome.

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